My parents introduced me to the world of books as a child. I’ve been thinking about what modern books I’d add to the classics I grew up with. So, here are a few new children’s picture books I’ve enjoyed recently.
“Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” by Mo Willems (published by Balzer and Bray, September 2012, $17.99)
I thought I’d heard more than I’d ever wanted to about Goldilocks until Mo Willems wrote this delightful picture book. His adaptation of the classic includes a funny dinosaur visiting from Norway and many hidden delights in the illustrations. Goldilocks’ many faults, such as barging into strangers’ homes, are discouraged heartily. Goldilocks does eventually wise up, notices that things are not as they should be and escapes the dinosaur’s ingenious trap. Willems concludes that the moral is, “If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave,” or, if you’re a dinosaur, “Lock the back door.”
“Skippyjon Jones: Cirque de Ole” by Judy Schachner (Dial Books for Young Readers, October 2012, $17.99)
Hilarious kitten Skippyjon Jones returns for another fun-filled adventure in “Skippyjon Jones: Cirque de Ole.” Skippyjon resumes his imagined persona, a Hispanic Chihuahua, and joins the Cirque de Ole with his Chihuahua friends. His amigos ask Skippy to help them form the Tiny Trembling Tower of Power. As usual, something goes awry and Skippy must find a way to ensure the show goes on.
Recommending only one of the “Skippyjon Jones” series by Judy Schachner would be impossible. But, her most recent release is a delight by its own rights. This book is truly a joy to read aloud. By now I expect all Schachner’s “Skippyjon” books to be just that, and I have yet to be disappointed.
“This Moose Belongs to Me” by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, November 2012, $16.99)
In Oliver Jeffers’ “This Moose Belongs to Me,” a young boy named Wilfred believes he owns a pet moose, which he names Marcel. Sadly, Marcel isn’t good at following Wilfred’s very specific and numerous rules of proper pet behavior. One day on one of the pair’s long walks, an old woman claims she owns the moose and that his name is actually Rodrigo. The moose prefers the old woman, who happens to have an apple. Poor Wilfred heads home alone. Misfortune strikes again, and he gets stuck. The day soon ends and Wilfred wonders about his options and the monster population in the area. The moose appears and rescues Wilfred. Eventually the two decide to compromise.
• Amy Stoothoff works at Inklings Bookshop. She and other Inklings staffers review books in this space each week.